Studies in humans have suggested the possible involvement of melanocortin-3-receptor (MC3R) and other components of the central melanocortin system in host defense against mycobacteria. We report a genomic DNA nucleotide sequence highly homologous to human MC3R in several bovids and non-bovid African wildlife species. Nucleotide sequence analysis indicates that the orthologous genes of cattle and buffalo are highly homologous (89.4 and 90%, respectively) to the human MC3R gene. Sequence results also identified a typical non-functional, duplicated pseudogene, MC3RP, in 7 species from the family Bovidae. No pseudogene was found in animals outside Bovidae. The presence of the pseudogene in tuberculosis-susceptible species could have possible immunomodulatory effects on susceptibility to bovine tuberculosis infection, as well as a considerable influence on energy metabolism and food conversion efficiency.

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